Should you follow Gluten free diet? Views from virtual health assistant
Gluten free diet is, of course, a diet that excludes gluten. No! No! Relax; I am not finishing this point early. To understand what is a gluten free diet we need to find out what is gluten. So now I am sharing with you my findings of what is gluten.
Gluten is the mixture of two proteins that generally finds in Cereal grains. It is a combination of gliadin and glutenin, which is conjoined with starch in the endosperm of various grass-related grains. True gluten, with gliadin and glutenin, is very limited and can be find among certain grass family members such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Some people said that stored proteins of maize and rice are gluten. But the fact is their protein is slightly different than true gluten.
I think this writing is becoming more technical than an informal blog post. So now I am trying to simplify the concept. Instead of discussing this in very technical terms, I will tell you the food list for gluten free diet in simple words. That will help my readers to understand what to eat and what not to during the diet.
• Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
• Fresh eggs
• Fresh meats
• Fresh fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
• Fruits and vegetables
• Most dairy products
There are many grain and starches that is also a part of Gluten Free diet:
• Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
• Hominy (corn)
• Corn and cornmeal
Foods to avoided :
Food and Drinks containing:
• Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
• Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
Avoid unless labeled ‘gluten-free’
In general, avoid the following foods unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
• Cakes and pies
• French fries
• Imitation meat or seafood
• Vegetables in sauce
• Salad dressings
• Processed luncheon meats
• Cookies and crackers
• Sauces, including soy sauce
• Seasoned rice mixes
• Soups and soup bases
• Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
• Self-basting poultry
Also alert from the foods that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:
• Play dough
• Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
• Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
You may not expect it but the following foods can contain gluten:
• Some candies
• Fried foods
• Broth in soups and bouillon cubes
• Salad dressings
• Some lunch meats and hot dogs
• Soy sauce
• Breadcrumbs and croutons
• Seasoned rice and pasta mixes
• Seasoned chips and other seasoned snack foods
• Self-basting turkey
• Modified food starch
• Imitation fish
When gluten free product come in contact with foods that contain gluten, then it may happen. The chances of cross contamination are higher in manufacturing process.
Why and when to follow gluten free diets
Usually doctor prescribes Gluten free diet as a treatment option for celiac disease. And survey says that about 1% Americans have Celiac Disease. In this disease, the patient basically has the problem in digesting food because this damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. And people with this disease can’t tolerate gluten. So gluten free diet is necessary for them.
But now days it has shown that many a people don’t have Celiac Disease but they are following Gluten free diet. May be they are little sensitive to gluten. But in this case my suggestion is, follow the Diet suggested by your doctor.
Good and Bad effects of Gluten :
Good-This diet is very effective for those who are suffering from celiac disease. Celiac Disease (CD) is caused by an immune reaction (hypersensitivity) to gluten, a protein found in wheat, ,oats, barley and rye. In people who are suffering from celiac, gluten triggers an autoimmune reaction in which the body produces antibodies that attack its own tissue. This reaction causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestines.
Bad- Gluten itself doesn’t have any nutritional benefit. But the whole grains that contain gluten also offering Vitamins and Mineral, such as Vitamin B, Iron, Fiber etc. And they survey also says that Whole grain foods reduce the chances of Heart Diseases, Some forms of cancer. And the funniest part is that 50% of all Carbohydrate in a diet, come from gluten free product. So think twice before you go for a gluten free diet.
Market trend of Gluten Free diet:
In a globally data monitor survey it has found that around 20% people avoid gluten due to some allergy or intolerance. And a further data says that around 22% people used to have gluten diet occasionally. As I mention earlier Celiac patient must have gluten free diet. Because the only treatment for this disease is to have gluten free foods for life long. And survey says that 1 people out of 133 is having Celiac disease. So this the market for gluten free diet. Now some interesting fact I want to share with you:
- 55% spend 30% or more on their grocery budget for gluten-free foods
- 68% shop at three or more stores per month to find gluten-free foods
- When asked if they could find the same products at all the following stores where would they most prefer to shop for gluten-free foods:
- 9% independent natural or health food store
- 8% mass merchandiser
- 7% natural food chain (e.g. Whole Foods)
- 5% club store (i.e. Sam Club)
- 0.1% drug store
- Product selection is the most important factor, followed by low price, convenience, good service, close to where they live, knowledgeable staff to help, friendliness of staff, and close to where they work
- The majority (77%) agreed it was hard to find good tasting gluten-free foods
- More than half (57%) have tried ten or more new gluten-free products in the last year.
( Source: 2008 Understanding Gluten-Free Shoppers’ Survey )
Trend and Market Condition: Gluten free diet is becoming a Main Stream diet. Many people following this trend now. Sales of these items have doubled in last 5 years. And I expect that this market will be doubled to $5.5 billion by 2015.15% consumers are eating gluten free product as a part of healthy diet, and 15 % North American families are purchasing gluten free product.18 to 22 million people are eating gluten free to manage sensitivity of gluten.
Gluten-Free Products Market Share (Value), by Type, 2013
Gluten-Free Products Market Share (Value), by Geography, 2013
You can follow Gluten free diets not only for celiac disease but also you can follow it as a regular diets . As Gluten free diet is Low GI diets that brings extra health benefits for optimal health .
Recipe- Here are few Gluten free Recipes from my blog that you can check from this link:
Author : Tanusree Roy , an expert in Health and Nutrition niche . She has extensive experience in diet plan, nutrition advisory roles in various USA based nutrition and recipe based projects . She regularly publishes healthy recipes and tips on her blog : Healthy recipes blog , FaceBook
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